The biggest police corruption scandal in Baltimore’s history recently went to trial, with the case revealing everything from cops being a part of a Northeast Baltimore drug crew to robbing suspects and innocent citizens of cash and reselling drugs on the street.
But one of the most notable revelation to come from the case is cops using toy guns as an evidence plant just in case they shot an unarmed person.
The use of toy guns came to light when Officer Maurice Ward, a member of the Baltimore Police Department’s Gun Trace Task Force, was arrested and a toy gun was found in his glove compartment. Ward and other members of the task force were instructed by the unit’s supervisor, Sgt. Wayne Jenkins, to keep toy guns with them, with Jenkins himself keeping “a collection of BB guns on hand” so he could “plant them on people in the case of officer-involved shootings,” according to a report from CBS Baltimore.
Ward revealed the information when he took the stand Tuesday (January 23) as the first witness for prosecutors in the case. The officer pleaded guilty to racketing charges in July 2017 after saying that he was part of four different robberies that took place during 2016.
Overall, a dozen officers from the task force were arrested and indicted on various charges, with two officers, Detectives Daniel Hersl and Marcus Taylor, recently going to trial. The two cops have pleaded not guilty, with both fighting charges of racketeering conspiracy, robbery, and possession of a firearm in a crime of violence, according to a report from the Baltimore Sun.
The case, which is happening in U.S. District Court, raises questions about if the Baltimore police regularly used false evidence in order to protect officers.
Source: Baltimore Sun